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    Adam Jarvis

    October 13, 2020 at 12:31 am

    Hey Julie – Congrats for getting this out there! Never an easy thing to do, to share something so personal.

    I would agree with Robyn – the title throws you a little, as it isn’t really hinted at in the blurb. I am guessing that Zach is the name of the child (and the secret), but I think readers would appreciated a little tie-in to the title, even if it’s part of a hook.

    (But, reading your reply, which I saw after I finished writing this – as a working title that’s fine, but you do need to suggest something in the blurb that will help us connect the title to things. I am probably wrong in my original guess at the name of the child, and readers may guess all sorts of things. What other information can you give us to suggest what the title might mean, without revealing it? However, if you find you cannot align the blurb – the essence of what the story is about – with the title, it is likely the title that needs to change.)

    The idea of said secret is intriguing, and the flow of the first two paragraph is good (the repetition of ‘secret’ drives home its importance and you stop short of it becoming an annoying repetition). One small thing is that most blurbs I have seen are written in present tense, as it gives things more of an immediate and foreboding feel. So, your second paragraph would start out “Five years later, nothing has turned out as planned.” (And so on.)

    Then – and someone will have to jump in with more experience here – I found the ending dragged a little. I get what you are trying to do, but I think it can be condensed. Trust your reader to figure some of this out – much of it is suggested by the blurb already – and perhaps there is one that stands out, or two that stand out that can be contrasted?

    For example, “secrets and their power to destroy” could be contrasted with “unfailing love that stands with us” to drop this down to just one sentence at the end. Or you could go with just the last line, as it’s already clear this this story is about secrets and the tone already suggests a redemption at the end.